Doncaster Rovers: There’s no substitute for this problem: Brian Flynn

Peripheral figure: Robbie Blake is struggling to get on the bench
Peripheral figure: Robbie Blake is struggling to get on the bench
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BRIAN Flynn has admitted to suffering a selection headache – choosing which players will sit on the bench for Rovers.

Kevin Blackwell could only name five substitutes for last weekend’s opponents Bury.

But Flynn had a different problem in choosing who to leave off his seven man bench.

He said: “I’m in a great position because I’ve not got problems picking the team, I’ve got problems picking the bench.

“That’s even better – it makes it a strong squad.

“Harry Redknapp had to put two goalkeepers on the bench for Queens Park Rangers the other week, just to fill it up.

“It can be difficult at all levels but not for me.”

The likes of Robbie Blake, James Husband and Jordan Ball have all struggled to hold down a place among the substitutes in recent games.

Flynn has been blessed with a near-fully fit squad since taking the reigns at Rovers.

“I’ve been very lucky in that we’re fine fitness wise,” Flynn said.

“I’ve not really had to look at bringing anyone in yet because I only really need to do that for cover.

“We had a really good training ground game at Manchester United last week and seven players got 90 minutes.

“These are players that have not had much game time with the first team recently.

“They need to be ready if they’re called upon, either from the bench when things aren’t going right or if someone is injured or suspended.”

One such player who got a chance off the bench was Lee Fowler who replaced the David Syers just after half time at Bury.

Syers is the main doubt for Saturday’s clash with Walsall at the Keepmoat after a knock on his ankle.

Flynn said: “Typical of David, and the group as a whole really, he was desperate to play on.

“We sent him back out for the second half but we could tell very quickly he wasn’t right.

“Lee did well for us when he came on.

“He kept the ball for us and he showed how good his variety of passing is.”

Martin Woods is Flynn’s only long term absentee and he is close to a return following a two month lay off.

Flynn paid tribute to Woods for his recovery and his general fitness following the groin injury which limited him to five appearances in 18 months between January 2011 and the start of last season.

“Martin got some playing time at Manchester last week and that was very good for him,” Flynn said.

“He’s had nearly two weeks training now after a long time out.

“He’s not there yet but he’s getting close and that’s a real positive because it’s yet another option for us, another different type of player.

“Martin had a really long lay off a year or so ago and records show players who’ve had long injuries will pick up knocks later on.

“But Martin has been clever and astute enough to manage his own training.

“Doing that has helped make sure he doesn’t regularly pick up these injuries.”